Will unraid be faster than my current set up

  Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Post Reply
newbie2012 Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2012
Reputation: 0
Post: #1
I have an mac-mini connected to two external hard drives (one usb, another firewire) and will connect another usb hard drive and total will be 1.5T+1.5T+2T. If I were to set up unraid (that is a speciaiized computer with lots of memory connected to the network?), would it be faster?

I did experiment with a poor man nas earlier. I connected all those hard disks to a p4 running ubuntu and set it as a samba server. Well, I was not happy with the speed.
(This post was last modified: 2012-06-16 03:26 by newbie2012.)
find quote
poofyhairguy Offline
Resident Hardware Guru
Posts: 2,956
Joined: Apr 2010
Reputation: 49
Post: #2
Yes it will be faster except for the Firewire drive.

USB2 hooked straight into a computer isn't fast enough to play full (30gb) 1080p files. Unraid on my gigabit network is able to stream full 3D Blu Ray ISOs (50gb) on my HTPC. If an Unraid box is built correctly it will smoke anything plugged in via USB2.

The Ubuntu experiment was not a good comparison. First is the USB issue. Secondly in all my years of messing with Ubuntu (which was from the start, I was a forum moderator there a while back) I have never gotten my SMB speeds to match what Unraid does.

Mini/Micro ITX Frontend (with SSD) + Mediaserver/NAS + Logitech Harmony + LCD/LED/Plasma TV + Nice AV Receiver + XBMC + USENET + sabnzbd + sickbeard +couchpotato

My Setup--HTPC Building Guide- Start Here--Advice on Hard Drives and SSDs--Mediaserver Guide--Harmony Guide
(This post was last modified: 2012-06-16 03:32 by poofyhairguy.)
find quote
newbie2012 Offline
Junior Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2012
Reputation: 0
Post: #3
Thanks guru. Lots of reading to do. If you don't mind a question for you. So, your unraid is sitting in another room(fan noise?)? Do you connect a monitor to it or do you control it with the HTPC or perhaps with a different lap-top computer. I am trying to visualize the whole thing.

Thanks
find quote
poofyhairguy Offline
Resident Hardware Guru
Posts: 2,956
Joined: Apr 2010
Reputation: 49
Post: #4
You play back the content on a HTPC that hooks to a TV that is networked to the Unraid server. They can be on the other side of your house as long as they are networked.

Mini/Micro ITX Frontend (with SSD) + Mediaserver/NAS + Logitech Harmony + LCD/LED/Plasma TV + Nice AV Receiver + XBMC + USENET + sabnzbd + sickbeard +couchpotato

My Setup--HTPC Building Guide- Start Here--Advice on Hard Drives and SSDs--Mediaserver Guide--Harmony Guide
find quote
Dougie Fresh Offline
Donor
Posts: 3,518
Joined: Feb 2009
Reputation: 84
Location: New Hampshire
Post: #5
My server is in my basement where it's 60F all year. It stays nice and cool and I don't have to worry about fan noise. If you have a spot like that in your place -- cool and out of the way -- it's ideal.
(This post was last modified: 2012-06-16 05:12 by Dougie Fresh.)
find quote
DJ_Izumi Offline
Fan
Posts: 499
Joined: Jul 2007
Reputation: 4
Post: #6
(2012-06-16 03:31)poofyhairguy Wrote:  Yes it will be faster except for the Firewire drive.

USB2 hooked straight into a computer isn't fast enough to play full (30gb) 1080p files. Unraid on my gigabit network is able to stream full 3D Blu Ray ISOs (50gb) on my HTPC. If an Unraid box is built correctly it will smoke anything plugged in via USB2.

The Ubuntu experiment was not a good comparison. First is the USB issue. Secondly in all my years of messing with Ubuntu (which was from the start, I was a forum moderator there a while back) I have never gotten my SMB speeds to match what Unraid does.

I don't think this is accurate information. A USB drive, assuming it is saturating the connection, can easily push 20MB/s in a practical transfer, that's 160mbps. That's enough bandwidth for ANY video source. Frankly, there's no such thing as a Blu-Ray with more than 56mbps.
find quote
poofyhairguy Offline
Resident Hardware Guru
Posts: 2,956
Joined: Apr 2010
Reputation: 49
Post: #7
(2012-06-16 05:50)DJ_Izumi Wrote:  
(2012-06-16 03:31)poofyhairguy Wrote:  Yes it will be faster except for the Firewire drive.

USB2 hooked straight into a computer isn't fast enough to play full (30gb) 1080p files. Unraid on my gigabit network is able to stream full 3D Blu Ray ISOs (50gb) on my HTPC. If an Unraid box is built correctly it will smoke anything plugged in via USB2.

The Ubuntu experiment was not a good comparison. First is the USB issue. Secondly in all my years of messing with Ubuntu (which was from the start, I was a forum moderator there a while back) I have never gotten my SMB speeds to match what Unraid does.

I don't think this is accurate information. A USB drive, assuming it is saturating the connection, can easily push 20MB/s in a practical transfer, that's 160mbps. That's enough bandwidth for ANY video source. Frankly, there's no such thing as a Blu-Ray with more than 56mbps.

Must Blu Rays are VBR which means they can spike in scenes beyond USB2's average capacity. You are talking about what USB2 can do on its spikes, and that doesn't matter. Only the worst USB2 can do matters for a steady stream, and that is why USB2 so bad for the job as its not consistent (compared to say Firewire).

I have tried playing Blu Ray rips on a few different (Maxtor, WD, Seagate, Hitachi, 500GB, 1TB, 1.5TB, 2TB) external USB2 HDs and they skip on the high bitrate scenes (usually action) even on my best HTPC. If all you are watching is scene content you can get away with USB2, but for pure Blu Ray rips it will drive you nuts.

Like most of my recommendations I am not saying what I said based on theory, but instead I have tried and failed enough to know the limitations of such external drives. USB3 on the other hand can do the job, as can a gigabit network and Unraid.

Mini/Micro ITX Frontend (with SSD) + Mediaserver/NAS + Logitech Harmony + LCD/LED/Plasma TV + Nice AV Receiver + XBMC + USENET + sabnzbd + sickbeard +couchpotato

My Setup--HTPC Building Guide- Start Here--Advice on Hard Drives and SSDs--Mediaserver Guide--Harmony Guide
(This post was last modified: 2012-06-16 07:28 by poofyhairguy.)
find quote
DJ_Izumi Offline
Fan
Posts: 499
Joined: Jul 2007
Reputation: 4
Post: #8
(2012-06-16 07:26)poofyhairguy Wrote:  Must Blu Rays are VBR which means they can spike in scenes beyond USB2's average capacity.

VBR is irrelevent. A Blu-Ray is not allowed to have a total bitrate higher than 56mbps at any point. (Combination of all streams and any overhead) To be higher would be a violation of the Blu-Ray specification. This is because the minimum Blu-Ray drive speed is 2x, which is 64mbps. Any Blu-Ray that had a spike higher than the drive speed would result in stuttering, dropped frames or the other. Blu-Ray disks must meet and not exceed these standards to prevent incompatibilities.

(2012-06-16 07:26)poofyhairguy Wrote:  You are talking about what USB2 can do on its spikes, and that doesn't matter. Only the worst USB2 can do matters for a steady stream, and that is why USB2 so bad for the job as its not consistent (compared to say Firewire).

I have tried playing Blu Ray rips on a few different (Maxtor, WD, Seagate, Hitachi, 500GB, 1TB, 1.5TB, 2TB) external USB2 HDs and they skip on the high bitrate scenes (usually action) even on my best HTPC. If all you are watching is scene content you can get away with USB2, but for pure Blu Ray rips it will drive you nuts.

Like most of my recommendations I am not saying what I said based on theory, but instead I have tried and failed enough to know the limitations of such external drives. USB3 on the other hand can do the job, as can a gigabit network and Unraid.

My arguement is that your issue is more likely unique to your situation, even if you've tested it on multiple pieces of hardware. Simply put, in PRACTICE USB2.0 has more throughput than even a 100mbps network connection.

Myself, I've used a USB3.0 enclosure on a USB2.0 port, meaning USB2.0 mode, for direct bluray rips without any stutters.
find quote
poofyhairguy Offline
Resident Hardware Guru
Posts: 2,956
Joined: Apr 2010
Reputation: 49
Post: #9
(2012-06-16 07:50)DJ_Izumi Wrote:  VBR is irrelevent. A Blu-Ray is not allowed to have a total bitrate higher than 56mbps at any point.

That is my point- at that peak I have seen many USB2 drives choke. Some Blu Rays hit that peak often- Avatar comes to mind. 3D Blu Rays blow that maximum away.

Quote:My arguement is that your issue is more likely unique to your situation, even if you've tested it on multiple pieces of hardware. Simply put, in PRACTICE USB2.0 has more throughput than even a 100mbps network connection.

Myself, I've used a USB3.0 enclosure on a USB2.0 port, meaning USB2.0 mode, for direct bluray rips without any stutters.

You are completely correct that USB2 at its peak can go beyond a 100mpbs connection. Here is your USB3 drive on a USB2 port more than doubling that:

[Image: 23758.png]

My point was that in my experience most USB2 drives I have encountered can't handle Blu Ray peaks, let alone 100mbps. To stay relevant to the topic my point was I have never seen an Unraid server (and I have personally made 3) perform as poorly as I have seen some (even new 2tb models) externals perform, and so I would say that the Ubuntu server gave a bad example of how Unraid would do given the average USB2 drive.

Mini/Micro ITX Frontend (with SSD) + Mediaserver/NAS + Logitech Harmony + LCD/LED/Plasma TV + Nice AV Receiver + XBMC + USENET + sabnzbd + sickbeard +couchpotato

My Setup--HTPC Building Guide- Start Here--Advice on Hard Drives and SSDs--Mediaserver Guide--Harmony Guide
find quote
DJ_Izumi Offline
Fan
Posts: 499
Joined: Jul 2007
Reputation: 4
Post: #10
(2012-06-16 08:34)poofyhairguy Wrote:  That is my point- at that peak I have seen many USB2 drives choke. Some Blu Rays hit that peak often- Avatar comes to mind. 3D Blu Rays blow that maximum away.

I don't think you understand my point here. Those discs do NOT excede the maximum bitrate, it would be a violate of the standard. A disc like that LITERALLY wouldn't be allowed to have that little 'Blu-Ray' emblem on the disc or the box because it doesn't meet specs set out by the Blu-Ray forum that they licensed from. I assure you, if you take Blu-Ray .TS streams and analyze them, you'll see that none of them push over 56mbps. You're welcome to show me an example that proves me wrong however.

(2012-06-16 08:34)poofyhairguy Wrote:  My point was that in my experience most USB2 drives I have encountered can't handle Blu Ray peaks, let alone 100mbps. To stay relevant to the topic my point was I have never seen an Unraid server (and I have personally made 3) perform as poorly as I have seen some (even new 2tb models) externals perform, and so I would say that the Ubuntu server gave a bad example of how Unraid would do given the average USB2 drive.

I'm not talking about 'peak' but sustained transfer speeds. Your example there, if anything, underlines my point that USB2.0 has more than enough bandwidth even for blu-ray. It might suprise you, but this is why Blu-Ray drives are readily available as external USB2.0 devices.
find quote
poofyhairguy Offline
Resident Hardware Guru
Posts: 2,956
Joined: Apr 2010
Reputation: 49
Post: #11
The point of my last post is that I agreed with what you are saying basically. Blu Rays do only max at 56 (and most never come close) and as that graph showed USB 2 can do way better than a 100 network which is well beyond 56. What I am saying is that in my experience most USB2 drives I have come across have problems with Blu Rays that max the standard. Its sad, by all rights such technology should blow away that limit but I think hard drive makers cheap out on budget large drives and playback can suffer.

In fact I recently got access to a new external HDD, a USB3 2TB Seagate and I tested it before I posted again. Just like you say the USB3 drive plays my Blu Ray rip of Avatar perfectly, so it certainly can work. I agree completely with you that it can work.

The OP had a bad experience with USB2 + Ubuntu. I threw out two reasons why based on my experience- either the USB drives are like ones I have dealt with in the past or the standard Ubuntu SMB is not fast enough. Either could be wrong- OP could have high expectations (beyond even Unraid), other network problems, etc.

But in any case I don't think that test should be an indicator for the potential of a Linux server like Unraid. USB2 at its best as that graph illustrates is still below a gigabit network. I think except for Firewire and USB3 drives a network device can have the best speeds.

Mini/Micro ITX Frontend (with SSD) + Mediaserver/NAS + Logitech Harmony + LCD/LED/Plasma TV + Nice AV Receiver + XBMC + USENET + sabnzbd + sickbeard +couchpotato

My Setup--HTPC Building Guide- Start Here--Advice on Hard Drives and SSDs--Mediaserver Guide--Harmony Guide
(This post was last modified: 2012-06-16 19:02 by poofyhairguy.)
find quote
DJ_Izumi Offline
Fan
Posts: 499
Joined: Jul 2007
Reputation: 4
Post: #12
I'll agree that using internal drives is better. If only for data transfers, sure you can do 20MB/s or more sustained over USB.20, but you can easily do 100MB/s on an internal drive. When you need to move a lot of data, that 5x improvement of speed can save you hours.

However, I don't think your experiences show that USB2.0 is insuffient for playback even of Blu-Rays (Agian, there are LOTS of external USB 2.0 Blu-Ray drives) and I think it's more likely that you have a history of buying REALLY crappy USB enclosures.
find quote